CHRISTOPHER BENDING

  CHRISTOPHER BENDING IS THE ACTING DISTRICT PLANNING OFFICE AT WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL

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CHRIS BENDING - Given that Mr Bending was dealing with the 106 to do with this 1,000 home application it is likely that he had some involvement in the 70 home application at Herstmonceux in Sussex. Whether he did or did not, he will be involved in the future, where that particular 106 Agreement is defective in not mentioning or making provision for protections of the historic well that many in Lime Park rely on to this day for their drinking water.

 

 

Christopher Bending is the new acting Head of Planning & Environmental Services at Wealden District Council according to a letter dated 22 June 2018.

 

He is (or was) the case officer in the matter of an application for the erection of a timber fence adjoining Hackhurst Lane, a site that is well know at Wealden and in the County Court because of the failure of Wealden DC to take action to protect Mrs Anne Harris from harassment by her then landlord.

 

Wealden's response to Mrs Harris complaining about the negligence on the part of this local authority was to subject her to years of inappropriate enforcement an example of which is David Phillips arguing in the Magistrates Court that a road was a linear pile of rubble.

 

This was in connection with a Site Tidy Notice that was served on Mrs Harris where she had building materials ready to repair her drive. Victorio Scarpa and Philips were so intent on making life hard for Mrs Harris, presumably seeking to drive her from Hackhurst Lane, that they were prepared to waste council tax payer's money arguing the ridiculous - all the way to the Crown Court.

 

Talk about a series of malicious prosecutions. This was almost as bad as her landlord removing her roof and lighting fires outside her home - it was more of the same, only this time a white collar version of the intimidation she'd experienced before. White collar intimidation as a course of malicious conduct is a violation of Article 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

 

You'll not be surprised to learn that the Judge was having none of that. He said if that was Wealden's take on the matter that he was finding for the defendant. A road is not a linear pile of rubble Mr Phillips. In the words of John Cleese: are you deranged?

 

Mrs Harris is a farmer, specializing in breeding pigs and making delicious sausages with herbs, spices, fruit and cheese flavours. Mrs Harris was also one of the 12 Petitioners who complained to Wealden in 1997. These 12 complaints were referred to Sussex police, who effectively swept these rather serious criminal allegations of fraud and malicious prosecutions under the carpet by simply not investigating. We know of a masonic connection between Tyrian Lodge in Eastbourne and one of the planning officers concerned: Ian Kay.

 

Tyrian Lodge is just around the corner from the then Police Station in Grove Road, that has now moved to Hammonds Drive. A number of police officers are thought to have been masons at that time and some probably still are, where Tyrian Lodge is well populated with builders and property developers - that would have been operating in the Wealden area.

 

 

Ref: Chris Bending                                  

Complaints Officer
Wealden District Council
Vicarage Road
Hailsham, BN27 2AX                                                                                 30 January 2018

Dear Complaints Officer,

 

RE: WD/2017/2577/F  -  TIMBER FENCE

HACKHURST LANE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, LOWER DICKER, HAILSHAM BN27 4BW

I wish to make a complaint about the attitude of a planning officer, Mr Chris Bending.

 

The complaint involves an application to partially fence off the carriage way 'Hackhurst Lane' from the industrial units facing it & from the road at right angles to it. WD/2017/2577/F.

 

1/ He failed to serve the requisite notices on affected parties or to publicly display them.

 

2/ He then refused to officially notify affected parties.

 

3/ He refused to regard encroachment into the carriageway (width set down in statute) or the fact that the proposed fence would prevent fence would prevent access of cattle lorries/tractors & trailers as material considerations.

 

4/ He refused to put all this nonsense in writing and refused to repeat in on the telephone so that I could tape record it.

 

Mr Bending appear to want to put me out of business, prevent me from continuing to use a piece of road I have used for over 30 years, and fail to inform me of the plan until it was too late to prevent it.

 

I found out about this application by chance. Mr Bending did not return my call and when I did speak to him he was arrogant and dismissive, saying that in his opinion no-one on the south side of Hackhurst Lane was materially affected by the proposed development & therefore did not need to be told about it.

 

I pointed out that the proposed fence would prevent me carrying on my business because I would not be able to get into my gate.

 

I reminded Mr Bending that applications to put a full length fence between the industrial estate & Hackhurst Lane or to gate off the A22 end of Hackhurst Lane at the first factory had failed because of the status of this road. Hackhurst Lane is in fact Private Carriageway No8. Its ownership, usage, enjoyment and width are laid down by Act of Parliament & tested in a landmark Judgment (on Private Carriageway No9) Benn V Hardinge.

 

The proposed development is on the carriageway which must (unless the Act of Parliament is repealed) be 20 feet wide.

 

Mr Bending said that in his opinion this is not a planning consideration. Entertaining a planning application for a development which is a breach of statute is clearly wrong & I therefore suspect that the owner of the carriageways set down under the Act has not been notified that with WDC & the Developer he is about to become complicit!

 

I pointed this out to Mr Bending that for me, the simple solution would be to have the fence beyond the carriageway & provide a gate in the fence opposite my farm gate with written agreement for me to access the road I have been using for the last 30 years & also thereby having carefully explained the damage this proposal would do to my business & my two neighbours concerns (Mr Stevens & Mr Grecroft) & having suggested a solution to these problems, I again asked Mr Bending to serve all three of us with official notification, so that we could make representations.

 

He refused saying he had pinned up notices. Neither I nor my 2 neighbours have seen these notices though there a 3 telegraph poles, one at each end of, & one opposite the proposed development. Mr Bending said he had put the notices up himself but was unable to say where he had put them.

 

I asked again for official notification - Mr Bending refused.

 

I asked him to give his reasons in writing - he refused.

 

I asked him to repeat his reasons while I recorded - he refused.

 

I asked him for a complaint form - he said write in.

 

I phoned my councillor, Mr White, & told him I was going to make a complaint about a council planning officer who was being very incompetent and arrogant & must be inexperienced. Mr White told me Mr Bending was a very senior planning officer.

 

When I listed my catalogue of complaints he said was waiting (in vain) for Mr Bending's response to a message he had left him (on another matter). Mr White could not remember the application going to Parish Council & said he would make enquiries with the Parish Clerk.

 

Mr Bending has failed to follow procedures & so doing put my business & use & enjoyment of my property at risk & is doing so quite knowingly & deliberately.

 

Please sort it out.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Anne Harris

 

 

 

 

 

Q & A INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS BENDING - 24 Jun 2015 By Colin Marrs

Earlier this month, councillors approved plans for a 1,000-home urban extension to the town of Uckfield in East Sussex. Chris Bending is senior planning and section 106 officer at Wealden District Council.

Q. When did you first get involved with the scheme?

A. My personal involvement in the scheme began around two years ago, not long after the council had identified the site as part of a strategic development area.

Q. What is the planning history of the site?

A. The site is included within a strategic development area within the adopted core strategy local plan. The SDA identified an area of land to the south west of the town, including the site and a small amount of additional land, and set out the quantum of development envisaged to be delivered. This was 1,000 homes, 12,650 square metres of employment and the creation of green space. 

The site was then identified in greater detail within the council’s emerging strategic sites local plan – though this was subsequently withdrawn following examination during the course of the application.

Q. Can you outline the timeline of pre-application discussions and dealing with the planning application?

A. At the outset of the project it was agreed between the applicant and the council that, given the range of issues involved, regular project team meetings would be required, to be supplemented by additional meetings on specific issues as necessary to ensure that the wider objectives were not lost in detailed issues.

In practice this meant a small group of planning officers - myself as case officer and occasionally our head of service - meeting with the applicant's lead planner and strategic land representative on behalf of the applicant. Additional meetings were then held on discrete topics, most notably on highways issues, odour from the nearby waste water treatment works and issues around the area of green space.

The application itself was submitted to the authority at the end of January 2015, slightly later than hoped by all involved, meaning that consideration before the council elections in May 2015 was not possible. The application went to a special committee meeting in early June 2015, where the committee resolved to grant consent subject to a range of planning obligations and conditions.

Q. What were the main challenges in dealing with the application and how did you deal with them?

A. Given the size of the site, particularly for a relatively rural district council, there was no shortage of issues. As a snapshot, there were issues of; proximity to waste water treatment works, green space provision and quality, traffic impact and pedestrian connectivity, scheme viability and affordable housing provision, infrastructure requirements and the rapidly evolving plan status within the district.

The highways impact of the scheme and the quality of associated pedestrian and cycle improvements was one of the most significant issues for the application. From early pre-application discussions, it was clear that the Highways Authority had some significant concerns regarding the site and what the overall impact on the town centre might be. Uckfield is a modest market town in a relatively rural area and whilst it benefits from rail connections to London, the private car is still the mode of choice for the majority or residents and workers. A number of meetings were held with the Highways Authority and the applicants transport team to try to move matters forward. Taking the issues in turn, the project team were able to narrow the areas of concern significantly and ultimately, whilst the Highways Authority retained some level of concern, we were able to satisfy the Highway Authority’s principal objections.

Provision of green space for the site was an absolute necessity to ensure that the development could meet the terms of European habitat regulations, however the detail was open to far more debate. The core strategy did not identify a specific site for the green space and initial proposals from the applicant had it within the main site surrounded in large part by housing development. During the course of pre-application discussions officers suggested that the area would be too influenced by urban features to create a sufficient quality space to provide adequate mitigation. Following protracted discussions the applicant was able to negotiate the addition of an a further 29 hectares of land on the opposite side of the A22 (accessed by underpass) to provide a high quality SANGS. Of course detailed matters remained including road noise, necessitating creation of a large bund and the detailed design and specification of the planting and other works.

Finally, scheme viability was a significant and sensitive issue for the site. Whilst the development proposed is very significant, the costs of the development are equally significant – A 29 hectare green space, together with maintenance for 100 years does not come cheap, let alone many of the other infrastructure requirements. It was clear to all involved that affordable housing delivery at the target 35 per cent rate would be a challenge from the outset. In the end the council has agreed that affordable housing will be provided within a range of 15-35 per cent with precise levels clarified via open book assessments to support each phase of the development, noting the 10-12 year anticipated construction timeframe.

Q. How much work did you have to put into this application compared to smaller ones?

A. The application proposed a very significant amount of work, though I would always prefer to deal with one application for 1,000 homes than 1,000 single dwelling proposals! I have worked on major applications for a number of years now and I strongly believe there are economies of scale in terms of workload and it is always easier to get additional expert input guidance from highways officers, viability consultants etc. Having said that, I will be happy to deal with a few applications over the next months that fingers crossed will have fewer issues than this site!


WD/2015/0090/ HERSTMONCEUX VILLAGE CONDITIONS A - Z INDEX

 

 -  Conditions Index A - Z
1. Permission subject to detailed particulars
2. Appearance & Landscape

3. Application for reserved matters in 3 years

4. No dev. without archaeological programme

5. No dev. until written scheme 4. published

6. Contamination to be reported subsequently

7. Details code of construction TB approved

8. Temporary contractor provisions

 9.  Noise restrictions working hours

10. Details brickwork finishes
11. Joinery details, windows, doors

12. Details hard & soft landscaping

13. Details screening, trees, hedges

14. Planting trees Chapel Row, Museum

15. Landscape management plan

16. Wildlife management details

17. Japanese Knotweed survey

18. Access prior to building works

19. Visibility splays entrance A271

20. Internal site access roads

21. Car parking details

22. Garages no commercial use

23. No felling trees hedgerows

24. Tree protection existing TPO

25. Bins refuse collection & disposal

26. Foul drainage sewerage works

27. Surface water drainage

28. No discharges foul water

29. Flood resilient buildings

30. Surface water drainage

31. Light pollution AONB

32  Renewable energy

33. No permitted dev buildings

34. No permitted gates/fences

36. Limited to included docs

 

 

NPPF - NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK A - Z INDEX

 

 

 

 

WEALDEN'S OFFICERS FROM 1983 TO 2018

 

 

Ian Kay

 

Ian Kay

Assist. Dist. Plan.

 

Charles Lant

 

Charles Lant

Chief Executive

 

Patrick Scarpa, solicitor Wealden District Council

 

Victorio Scarpa

Solicitor

 

Timothy Dowsett

 

Timothy Dowsett

Dist. Secretary

 

Christine Nuttall, solcitor, Wealden District Council corruption and monument protection English Heritage 

 

Christine Nuttall

Solicitor

 

David Phillips, perjury and corruption Wealden District Council, the Energy Age, Nelson Kruschandl

 

Dr David Phillips

Enforcement

 

 

Daniel Goodwin

 

Daniel Goodwin

Chief Executive

 

 

J Douglas Moss

 

J Douglas Moss

Policy

 

 

 

 Kelvin Williams

Dist. Planning

 

 

 

Trevor Scott

Solicitor

 

 

David Whibley, enforcement officer Wealden District Council

 

David Whibley

Enforcement

 

 

Christine Arnold

 

Christine Arnold

Planning

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

Beverly Boakes

 

Beverley Boakes

Legal Secretary

 

 

Patrick Coffey

 

 Patrick Coffey

Planning

 

 

Julian Black planning consultant

 

Julian Black

Planning

 

 

 

Ashley Brown

Dist. Planning

 

 

 

Derek Holness

Former CEO

 

 

Abbott Trevor - Alcock Charmain - Ditto - Arnold Chris (Christine) - Barakchizadeh Lesley - Paul Barker - Bending Christopher - Ditto

Black Julian - Boakes Beverley - Bradshaw Clifford - Brigginshaw Marina - Brown Ashley - Coffey Patrick - Douglas Sheelagh

Dowsett Timothy - Flemming Mike - Forder Ralph - Garrett Martyn - Goodwin Daniel - Henham J - Holness Derek

Hoy Thomas - Johnson Geoff - Kavanagh Geoff - Kay Ian - Kay I. M. - Barbara Kingsford - Lant Charles - Mercer Richard

Mileman Niall - Moon Craig - Moss Douglas, J.Nuttall Christine - Pettigrew Rex - Phillips David - Scarpa Victorio - Scott Trevor

Kevin Stewart - Turner Claire - Wakeford Michael. - Whibley David - White, George - Williams Kelvin - Wilson Kenneth - White Steve

 

 

 

 

MISFEASANCE & MALFEASANCE

 

When an officer of the courts omits to include evidence that he or she knows is relevant to a hearing, that is termed misfeasance in public office. Where an officer then tries to cover up his or her misfeasance (as did Ian Kay in the Stream Farm matter), or J Douglas Moss did in the Old Steam House case, that becomes malfeasance. The difference is that misfeasance is a civil wrong, whereas malfeasance is a criminal offence. The leading case precedent on malfeasance is: R. v Bowden 1995 Court of Appeal (98 1 WLR), where police constable Bowden failed in his duty to protect a member of the public.

 

The only defence that Wealden's officers have in their criminal dealings is that Sussex Police will not investigate any offence committed by their chums at Wealden. The proof of this is the failure of DS Keith Lindsay failed to interview any one of 12 unrelated complainants or the planning or executive officers from Wealden who stand/stood accused.

 

Where does Chris Bending fit into all of this? At the moment we do not know and we are giving Mr Bending the benefit of the doubt. In other words we accept that he is innocent of any hand in the approval of the 70 house windfall grant at Herstmonceux, unless and until fresh evidence becomes available to suggest otherwise:

 

Clarion Group Housing Limited are working with Thakeham Homes Limited and Latimer Developments Limited, following on from the applications of Tim Watson in 2014 and Gleeson Developments Limited in 2015. This is another of those windfall applications where Kelvin Williams thought it right to allow development on green belt outside of the village envelope.

 

 

Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX T: 01323 443322


 

 

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://jobs.planningresource.co.uk/article/in-the-news-grappling-with-an-urban-extension/

https://web.zurich.co.uk/

http://www.royalmail.com/

http://www.sussex.police.uk/

http://www.wealden.gov.uk/

 

 

 

POTTY TRAINING - Using a potty correctly may be a new skill for your planning team to learn if they keep missing the bowl or forgetting to flush, or maybe even fumble the paperwork. Being patient and firm with them will help them get it right eventually, even if they sometimes feel frustrated at being pushed to do the right thing. They need to known that every person is entitled to a toilet no matter how much the council's legal team tell them to ignore the rules to cause harm to a challenging member of the public - and yes we can imagine how irritating it is to be caught out consistently by some members of the public - and yes of course that makes you dig in your heels even more - leading you into trying harder to cover up, rather than admit mistakes. But that will only that lead to more spillages as this website proves? 

 

So, if you are going to plan a vendetta, hoping to harass someone to vacate Wealden land for the benefit of someone else locally who you favour, be sure that you don't get caught with your trousers down, forget to flush, or even pull your trousers up too soon. Be careful to stay in the groove by following statute to the letter and don't hope that all Judges or Inspectors will turn a blink eye with a funny handshake - there are many who are not members of that brigade and these are the airings that are sure to come back to haunt you to reveal what you did and why you did it. Sleep safe at night by doing the right thing. Do not try to deprive anyone of their state granted rights and put the lid down after flushing.

 

 

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